Patent protection is granted for a period generally 20 years from the filling date of the application.
The owner of a patent has the exclusive right to exploit the patented invention and to authorise another person to exploit the invention. The owner also has the right to assign or transfer the patent; and to enter into licensing contracts. Overall a patent owner has the right to decide who may – or may not – use the patented invention for the period in which the invention is protected. In other words, patent protection means that the invention cannot be commercially made, used, distributed, imported, or sold by others without the patent owner's consent.
An invention must in general, fulfill the following conditions to be protected by a patent. It must be new and does not form part of the state of the art. The invention must show an inventive step that could not be deduced by a person with the average knowledge of the technical field and the invention is capable of industrial application.